Building any business is tough. But in the heavily competitive of telecom sales, it’s an enormous task to carve out your niche and succeed.
Born in Naples, Italy and raised on the (then) tough streets of Brooklyn, Sal got his first taste for sales in the hectic frenzy of the ‘90’s Wall Street stock market scene. (And yes, he knows Jordan Belfort, but thankfully for his CV’s sake never chose to work for him.)
Today, Sal is a titan of sales. Together with his partner and childhood friend Joe Monaco, the pair have grown the Monaco Group into one of Intelisys’ fastest growing Sales Partners.
Getting there has required a savvy approach to sales and several shifts along the way. I recently sat down with Sal to learn all about his path to success. Here are his insights.
Pivot Your Approach To Meet Your Customer
Back in his stock market days, Sal prided himself on his aggressive ‘do anything for a close’ sales approach. After all, it made him a success.
But today’s customer has evolved. Where once customers based their selection on the best-matched bid quote, today’s customer is much savvier. Today, it’s those vendors that can show up and prove how they can solve a customer’s problems (in addition to cost) that are best poised to win.
Sure, cold calling still has its place. In fact, Sal and his team still use cold calling to get in the door with many of their targets. But once past that door, Sal’s pitch is no longer focused on his product. Instead, he wins by focusing on the target’s pain points and then illustrating how Monaco’s offerings can make their lives better.
Partner With Your Customers in Mind
Most growing businesses at one point or another understand that partnerships are critical to scaling a business. Those partnerships must also be formed with a long-term strategy in place that focuses on adding value to the end customer.
In Sal’s case, one of his most successful forms of partnership has been with VARs. Seeing the opportunity to offer his customers a complete solution — hardware and telecom services rolled into one — Sal began forming strategic partnerships with various VARs that specialized in his target industries.
One such partnership was with Tegile, a VAR that supplies large storage arrays to major enterprises. Given Monaco’s focus on securing more enterprise clients, pairing with Tegile enabled them to produce a much more efficient and cost-effective solution for their clients comparative to VAR and telecom providers going at those clients independently.
Find the Yin to Your Business Yang
Speaking of partnerships, one of the most critical one to Sal’s success has been the one he’s held with his Co-Founder Joe Monaco. As childhood friends, Sal’s and Joe’s relationship is one based on trust, familiarity and love.
But like every relationship, theirs takes work. Compared to Sal’s natural hustle and aggressive sales style, Joe’s is one of contemplative and calm leadership. The yin-yang dichotomy of their personalities has over the years led to their fair share of disagreements. But those differences are also what makes their partnership succeed.
In Sal’s view, their different personalities fill in the gaps for each other and have helped to shape Monaco into a well-balanced company able to anticipate and serve their clients needs.
Further, it’s their shared focus on common business goals and their mutual respect for each other that has kept them going (and succeeding) all these years.
Be sure to catch Sal’s complete interview over on the podcast. In addition to further secrets of his success, Sal shares an incredibly personal and harrowing story of when he almost lost his life and how he’s used that experience to elevate his life and those around him.
I think you quickly agree with me that Sal is truly an inspirational human being.